A Fun Adventure In Northern California
With Charles Cramer
Last year Luminous Landscape presented its first Shooting With The Masters video series. The first series, with William Neil, attracted thousands of viewers, and we received a very positive response. Because of this, we have decided to make a new Shooting With The Masters Series every year.
We would like to announce that our second series will feature Charles Cramer. I have known Charles for many years and have had the privilege of shooting with him on many occasions. Charles is an amazingly talented individual. During my first trip with Charles, I learned so much by watching his approach to doing landscapes. He is patient and his meticulous attention to detail is something to behold.
Charles not only is a great photographer but also a master printer – which means that this series of Shooting With The Masters will be a little different. The first half of the series will focus on photography in the field, while the second half will be about producing prints from the images shot during the first half of the series.
You’ll hear the discussions Charles and I have in the field about what photography is all about. Photography is a passion for me, as it is for many of us. There is something rather exhilarating about taking photographs with someone who is as passionate about photography as you are. Two friends having a great time taking photos – does it get any better?
You can see more of Charles’ work on his website charlescramer.com. I know you will agree that his work is outstanding.
I can tell you now and will share with all of you in an upcoming video, that Charles is also a master pianist. It is such a blessing to be working with two such incredible talents and I will tell you that my week with Charles, not only photography-wise but also music-wise, was most enlightening.
This series will be presented in several segments over the coming weeks. Each segment will consist of a number of videos, which will also be made available in the video section of our website. We really enjoyed making these videos, and truly hope you enjoy this series. All of this comes with the low-price membership with Luminous Landscape.
I want to say a big thank you to Chris Sanderson. For years, he has been the person behind all of our videos. Working with Chris has been just like working with Charles. He’s a master at video and a perfectionist not only in terms of content but also video quality and sound. He does it all as a one-man show. Chris has dedicated hundreds of hours into the editing of this series, and I know you’ll agree that its video quality is second to none, which is down to his efforts.
For all of us, the journey has not simply been about photography but has also been a whole lot of fun. There is nothing better than being out in the field taking pictures and, when doing so, having fun. I do hope you’ll have as much fun watching us, and at the same time learn something that will help you perform better at your next photo outing.
I sit down and introduce Charles Cramer and what Charles and I are going to do for the next five days. It’s a great chance to get to know Charles and get a glimpse into the area we are photographing.
Shoot At Pebble Beach
Charles and I visited a small beach that presented us with a treasure trove of photographic possibilities. While it might not look like much overall, the details of the pebbles and eroded rock gave us plenty of compositions that kept us busy for many hours. We had some great discussions about composition, depth of field and sharpness, as well as color balance and how we will approach printing these images after the shoot. Enjoy!
I used a 4×5 camera for 30 years. Unfortunately, they take a fair bit of time to set up — and then the image appears upside down on the ground glass! It was much quicker to use a viewing card to help me decide whether or not I wanted to set up the camera, much less expose some of the film.
Modern DSLRs are quick to use, but a viewing card is even faster. You can quickly change from vertical to horizontal, and zoom in or out. The viewing card also allows you to really explore the scene, helping to ensure that you have the most powerful and compelling composition, instead of using whatever lens is already on the camera. Besides, as John Sexton says, most photographers have “twitchy” index fingers that cannot resist multiple clicks of the shutter. Using a viewing card allows you to truly evaluate the image before risking any exposure.
Shoot At Big Basin
Charles and I ventured into the forest to find more interesting trees and waterfalls. We talked about experiences not only shooting in the forest but also a number of other past experiences. We did a lot of long-exposure photographs and talked about technique, as well as discussing whether we will print the scene in color or black and white.
Trees and Tafoni Shoot
We took a break on the side of the road to explore, finding many suitable trees to photograph. Then, we ventured further and found an incredible weathered sandstone called tafoni. We found some very interesting compositions here.
I hope you enjoyed the first four videos. Stay tuned for more coming your way soon.